Confessions of a Union Organizer

The Art of Manipution

The Art of Manipution

When Minds Blend Into One

A skilled union organizer masters the psychology behind “mass persuasion”. These mind games are an important tool in the organizers arsenal.

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The Butcher and the Sheep

The Butcher and the Sheep

The Art of Manipulation

In the world of “the union” organizing is a game played to win, to succeed by any means necessary. Empty promises made and lies are told. The workers believe in the organizer like a sheep led to pasture by the butcher. They want to believe, they need to believe.

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The Turning Point

The Turning Point

The location could be anywhere with any union. There are rules that even a top-level union official cannot control. After reading previous “Confessions”, and though it may be hard for you to believe, I did find some lines I didn’t want to cross. In some way I believe that what you are about to read was a turning point in my extensive career on the union side, and possibly even one of the most influential reason for my confessions.

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Using Empowerment Zones to My Advantage

Using Empowerment Zones to My Advantage

Looking for new tactics to utilize in an organizers quest to recruit new members is the number one goal of every good organizing department.

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Dumpster Diving

Dumpster Diving

Turning Trash into Gold

Most people try to separate work from family. It’s one of those things that most Americans have trouble doing. We all know that it is important to keep work where it belongs, at work. This, of course, was not the case for me. I actually used people’s families to my advantage in order to succeed in heated union campaigns. I sat in front of worker’s homes in the middle of the night. I knew what school’s my potential ‘victims’ children attended. But there is one event that will forever be in my mind.

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How An Organizer Gets Signatures

How An Organizer Gets Signatures

Holding meetings was and always will be a essential task for a effective union organizer. For me these meetings were mandatory in order to be effective and a requirement for all the employees who wanted unions. They may not have known that the meetings were “required” initially, but learned quickly that it was easier to attend than to get a visit from my team. These meetings were my way of gathering the masses with one objection. My goal was to get them to sign a petition or check cards to organize.

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Salting – How Deep is Deep?

Salting – How Deep is Deep?

The union organizer, by definition, is a type of trade union member who is sometimes elected, but more often than not, specifically appointed to their role. They “recruit” workers under the “organizing model.” Sometimes, the union organizer’s role is to enforce work rules and act as shop steward.

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Immigrant Workforce – An Easy Target

Immigrant Workforce – An Easy Target

All of the tactics used to sway the employees to unionize were based on deception, but there were specific times in my career when that deception reached levels that were most shocking.

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Emotions – Fear and Intimidation without Shame

Emotions – Fear and Intimidation without Shame

Management didn’t initially know who I was when I came through the door. This didn’t last long…

I made sure that the management staff became VERY aware of my presence, subtly at first, and without disrupting the workers enthusiasm. The same way that I knew EVERYTHING there was to know about the worker’s; I knew just as much (and probably more) about the management staff. I knew where they lived and what their spouses did for a living. I knew what social clubs they belonged to and which churches they attended.

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Setting: Union Hall

Setting: Union Hall

Any Town, USA

All union organizers, myself included, believed that we made a difference in the lives of the workers. I believed I helped, and most importantly, the worker believed it too. My promises were sincere. I knew the issues and knew how to make the worker feel included in the organizing process. The union was the workers, not me or the other union officials.

My job was to give them ownership and control over their campaign. Again, the illusion was that they would have a “voice”, they would meet with management and get what they wanted.

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